Since it’s hard to find a good time to celebrate Miles’s birthday right around the actual day, we decided to host a belated party this year (last year we didn’t really have a party; just family and a couple of friends). We invited a lot of people, knowing that with kids’ differing schedules and weekend activities and other things going on in peoples’ lives that probably not very many people could make it. Oops – it turns out that a Saturday morning in February is not a very busy time for most people! In the end we had 18 adults and 6 kids, plus the three of us! As Mr. Chumsley noted, that’s almost half as many people as our wedding!
With lots of help from my mum and some Costco shopping by the Chumsleys-in-law, we managed to pull together a decent spread of morning snacks, lunch, and cake. The cake was a big hit – I made a double recipe of this cake in a 9×13 pan, added a classic cream cheese icing, and shaped and decorated it like a fish, since Miles loves fish so much. It all went down very well with old and young guests, with one young guest even declaring that the cake was so good he didn’t need ice cream! All the kids played really well together and it was a fun kind of happy chaos. Photos will follow in a bit when my friend Angela sends hers to me – I didn’t manage to pull out my camera even once!
We managed to clear everyone out by about 1 and convince Miles that a nap would maybe a good idea. He squirmed around for a while, but eventually settled down and then crashed out for 2 ½ hours. We had managed to do most of the clean up before his nap, so we quickly did the rest and then lay down ourselves for some well-deserved rest.
After our awesome nap we couldn’t decide what to do for dinner. We wanted something easy, but Miles (unfortunately) is not a fan of pizza or a lot of other short-cut options. We finally settled on perogies, knowing that even those might not go over too well. We needed sour cream/yogurt and farmers’ sausage to complete the menu, so we headed out to our local store, best known for being overpriced and under stocked. Not surprisingly, they didn’t have any farmers’ sausage, so we decided to walk a bit further to a bigger store. On the way there, I remembered about a burger place that we used to go to quite often back in our carefree past. It’s about a 15 minute walk from our current place, and since we were all enjoying being outside, we decided to go there for dinner. What a great decision that turned out to be! Taking a 2 year old out for dinner is so much easier than taking a younger kid – there was no need for a booster seat, bib, special cup, food from home etc.
When (very briefly) debating if this idea would work, we figured on getting Miles some lamb burger, something we have semi-regularly at home and that he likes. However, when we got there we discovered that they don’t sell lamb burgers anymore. Luckily, they do offer wild salmon fillets, and if there is one thing that Miles is pretty much guaranteed to eat, it’s salmon. I ordered a “double” salmon burger, and they offered to bring the second piece of salmon on a small plate. A quick check with the kitchen revealed that they didn’t have any lemon, so I quickly ran out and bought one at the next door convenience store. Together with some fries, Miles had an excellent dinner and Mr. Chumsley and I greatly enjoyed the freedom of going out for dinner and being out with our kid later than 5:30!
Going out for dinner with your toddler seems like such a trivial and simple thing, but it really was a lot of fun, and it feels like we might be on the verge of a whole new stage of portability. If you were to graph the portability of kids over time, I think it would start pretty high, bottom out around 9 months, and slowly start creeping up again. We might just be starting to hit the point of being able to do things at the last minute again, and that’s exciting!